EP2172252B1 - Hand-held information processing apparatus - Google Patents

Hand-held information processing apparatus Download PDF

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Publication number
EP2172252B1
EP2172252B1 EP09171032.7A EP09171032A EP2172252B1 EP 2172252 B1 EP2172252 B1 EP 2172252B1 EP 09171032 A EP09171032 A EP 09171032A EP 2172252 B1 EP2172252 B1 EP 2172252B1
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EP
European Patent Office
Prior art keywords
housing
game
lcd
button
vibrating motor
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Active
Application number
EP09171032.7A
Other languages
German (de)
French (fr)
Other versions
EP2172252A3 (en
EP2172252A2 (en
Inventor
Kazunori Koshiishi
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Nintendo Co Ltd
Original Assignee
Nintendo Co Ltd
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to JP2008258055A priority Critical patent/JP5358152B2/en
Application filed by Nintendo Co Ltd filed Critical Nintendo Co Ltd
Publication of EP2172252A2 publication Critical patent/EP2172252A2/en
Publication of EP2172252A3 publication Critical patent/EP2172252A3/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of EP2172252B1 publication Critical patent/EP2172252B1/en
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F13/00Video games, i.e. games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions
    • A63F13/25Output arrangements for video game devices
    • A63F13/28Output arrangements for video game devices responding to control signals received from the game device for affecting ambient conditions, e.g. for vibrating players' seats, activating scent dispensers or affecting temperature or light
    • A63F13/285Generating tactile feedback signals via the game input device, e.g. force feedback
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F13/00Video games, i.e. games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions
    • A63F13/08Constructional details or arrangements, e.g. housing, wiring, connections, cabinets, not otherwise provided for
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F13/00Video games, i.e. games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions
    • A63F13/20Input arrangements for video game devices
    • A63F13/24Constructional details thereof, e.g. game controllers with detachable joystick handles
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F13/00Video games, i.e. games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions
    • A63F13/90Constructional details or arrangements of video game devices not provided for in groups A63F13/20 or A63F13/25, e.g. housing, wiring, connections or cabinets
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F13/00Video games, i.e. games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions
    • A63F13/90Constructional details or arrangements of video game devices not provided for in groups A63F13/20 or A63F13/25, e.g. housing, wiring, connections or cabinets
    • A63F13/92Video game devices specially adapted to be hand-held while playing
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F13/00Video games, i.e. games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions
    • A63F13/20Input arrangements for video game devices
    • A63F13/21Input arrangements for video game devices characterised by their sensors, purposes or types
    • A63F13/214Input arrangements for video game devices characterised by their sensors, purposes or types for locating contacts on a surface, e.g. floor mats or touch pads
    • A63F13/2145Input arrangements for video game devices characterised by their sensors, purposes or types for locating contacts on a surface, e.g. floor mats or touch pads the surface being also a display device, e.g. touch screens
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F2300/00Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game
    • A63F2300/10Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game characterized by input arrangements for converting player-generated signals into game device control signals
    • A63F2300/1037Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game characterized by input arrangements for converting player-generated signals into game device control signals being specially adapted for converting control signals received from the game device into a haptic signal, e.g. using force feedback
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F2300/00Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game
    • A63F2300/20Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game characterised by details of the game platform
    • A63F2300/204Features of games using an electronically generated display having two or more dimensions, e.g. on a television screen, showing representations related to the game characterised by details of the game platform the platform being a handheld device

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention
  • The present invention relates to a hand-held information processing apparatus. More specifically, the present invention relates to a hand-held information processing apparatus, such as a hand-held game apparatus, a game controller, a PDA, a hand-held sound recording and reproducing apparatus, an electronic data book, and a cellular phone.
  • Description of the related art
  • One example of the related art is disclosed in Japanese Patent Laid-open No. 11-9838 laid-open on January 19, 1999 . In a housing of a computer game controller disclosed in JP 11-9838 , a grip portion extending toward the front from both of the right and left sides is provided, and inside a tip end of the grip portion, a vibration device is contained. The vibration device is configured to attach a helical spring to a rotating shaft of a direct-current motor, and to attach a weight at an end of the helical spring. Furthermore, the direct-current motor is inserted into a motor mounting portion integrally formed with the housing, being bonded with a sponge on its outer surface.
  • In addition, another example of the related art is disclosed in Japanese Patent Application Laid-Open No. 2004-193625 laid-open on July 8, 2004 . In a foldable hand-held machine disclosed in JP 2004-193625 , a vibrating motor is installed in a hinge portion.
  • However, in the art of JP 11-9838 , the sponge bonded to the outer surface of the vibrating motor is disposed between the vibrating motor and the wall surface of the motor mounting portion, so that vibrations of the vibrating motor are absorbed by the sponge, and may not be fully transmitted to the housing.
  • Furthermore, in the art of JP 2004-193625 , it is disclosed that the coin-shaped vibrating motor is attached to the hinge portion by merely being raised and tilted, and is unclear how to install it or how to configure it. When the vibrating motor is raised to bring a side surface of the vibrating motor and an inner peripheral surface of the hinge portion in contact with each other, vibrations are directly transmitted to the hinge portion, but when the vibrating motor is tilted, the inner peripheral surface of the hinge portion and the outer peripheral surface of the vibrating motor are scarcely in contact with each other, and the vibrations seem to be hardly transmitted to the hinge portion.
  • ES 2 231 856 T3 describes a controller and an expansion unit for the controller. The expansion unit is connected to the controller body by way of a connector and is used to increase the functionality of the controller. The expansion unit can include a vibration unit, whereby a vibration is transmitted from the expansion unit to the controller body.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • Therefore, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide a novel hand-held information processing apparatus.
  • Furthermore, another object of the present invention is to provide a hand-held information processing apparatus capable of efficiently transmitting vibrations.
  • The present invention employs following features in order to solve the above-described problems. It should be noted that reference numerals and the supplements inside the parentheses show one example of a corresponding relationship with the embodiments described later for easy understanding of the present invention, and do not limit the present invention.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
    • Figure 1 is an illustrative view showing one embodiment of a game apparatus of this invention;
    • Figure 2 shows a placement of respective components except for the housing inside the game apparatus shown in Figure 1, and is a perspective view of the game apparatus in an opened state when seeing a front surface from obliquely upward;
    • Figure 3 shows a placement of the respective components except for the housing inside the game apparatus shown in Figure 1, and is a perspective view of the game apparatus in an opened state when seeing a rear surface from obliquely upward;
    • Figure 4 is an illustrative view showing a connected state of two cameras shown in Figure 1-Figure 3;
    • Figure 5 is an illustrative view in which a flexible substrate is spirally bent from an upper housing to a lower housing;
    • Figure 6 is an illustrative view showing a configuration of a base cover of the lower housing;
    • Figure 7 is an illustrative view showing a configuration of a motor cover;
    • Figure 8 is an illustrative view in which the motor cover is attached to the base cover to secure a vibrating motor;
    • Figure 9 is an illustrative view showing a cross-sectional view in Figure 8, a view on an enlarged scale thereof, and a secured state of the motor when another base housing is formed; and
    • Figure 10 is a block diagram showing an electric configuration of the game apparatus shown in Figure 1.
    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • Referring to Figure 1, a game apparatus 10 of one embodiment of the present invention includes a first liquid crystal display (LCD) 12 and a second LCD 14. The LCD 12 and LCD 14 are housed in a housing 16 so as to be in predetermined arrangement positions. In this embodiment, the housing 16 comprises an upper housing 16a, a lower housing 16b, and a hinge portion 16c. The LCD 12 is housed in the upper housing 16a, and the LCD 14 is housed in the lower housing 16b. Accordingly, the LCD 12 and the LCD 14 are placed in proximity to each other to be vertically (up and down) arranged.
  • It should be noted that in this embodiment, although an LCD is utilized as a display in this embodiment, an EL (Electronic Luminescence) display, a plasmatic display, etc. may be used in place of the LCD.
  • The upper housing 16a and the lower housing 16b are rotatably connected at a lower side (lower edge) of the upper housing 16a and an upper side (upper edge) of the lower housing 16b by the hinge portion 16c. Accordingly, in a case that a game is not played, if the upper housing 16a is rotatably folded such that the display surface of the LCD 12 and the display surface of the LCD 14 are face to face with each other, it is possible to prevent the display surface of the LCD 12 and the display surface of the LCD 14 from being damaged, such as a flaw, etc.
  • As understood from Figure 1, the upper housing 16a has a plane shape little larger than a plane shape of the LCD 12, and has an opening formed so as to expose a display surface of the LCD 12 from one main surface thereof. On the other hand, the lower housing 16b has a plane shape being approximately the same as the upper housing 16a, and has an opening formed so as to expose a display surface of the LCD 14 at an approximately center.
  • Furthermore, as shown in Figure 2, inside the upper housing 16a, a right speaker 18 and a left speaker 20 are arranged on both sides of the LCD 12. Accordingly, as shown in Figure 1, the upper housing 16a is formed with a sound releasing hole 22 and a sound releasing hole 24 for respectively producing sound from the speakers 18, 20 at positions corresponding to the right speaker 18 and the left speaker 20.
  • It should be noted that Figure 2 shows a placement of respective components except for the housing 16 inside the game apparatus 10 shown in Figure 1, and is a perspective view of the game apparatus 10 in an opened state when seeing a front surface from obliquely upward.
  • In addition, as shown in Figure 1 and Figure 2, inside the upper housing 16a, on both sides of the LCD 12, an antenna 26 and an antenna 28 for wireless communication are respectively arranged above the speaker 18 and speaker 20. Moreover, as shown in Figure 1-Figure 3, inside the upper housing 16a, next to the antenna 26, a camera 30 is arranged. Furthermore, as well understood from Figure 3, between the antenna 26 and the camera 30, an LED 32 is provided.
  • Here, Figure 3 shows a placement of respective components except for the housing 16 inside the game apparatus 10 shown in Figure 1, and is a perspective view of the game apparatus 10 in an opened state when seeing a rear surface from obliquely upward.
  • Furthermore, as well understood from Figure 3, an imaging portion (imaging surface) of the camera 30 and a light emitting surface of the LED 32 are provided on a rear surface of the upper housing 16a shown in Figure 1. For example, the camera 30 is arranged such that the imaging surface is flush with the rear surface of the upper housing 16a. This camera 30 can image a face of another player, etc. existing in a position being face to face with the player utilizing the game apparatus 10. Surely, it is possible to image a landscape, etc. with the camera 30.
  • The LED 32 is used for indicating a situation of the camera 30 (active/inactive). For example, if the camera 30 is active, the LED 32 is turned on (lights up) while if the camera 30 is inactive, the LED 32 is turned off (light out). Furthermore, in imaging by a self-timer, by flashing the LED 32 and gradually making time intervals between lighting and extinction shorter, it is possible to inform the player that an imaging timing approaches.
  • As shown in Figure 3 and Figure 4, the camera 30 and the LED 32 are mounted on a flexible substrate 34, and the flexible substrate 34 is connected to another flexible substrate 38 via BtoB connector 36. The flexible substrate 38 is mounted with another camera 40, and extends to the lower housing 16b so as to be connected to a circuit board 42.
  • The reason why the cameras 30, 40 are mounted on the separate flexible substrates 34, 38 is that the number of wires in the flexible cable can be increased, and it is easy to bend the flexible cable in comparison to a case that these cameras 30, 40 are mounted on a common substrate. Moreover, in a case that the two cameras are mounted on a common flexible substrate, if any one of them is broken, both of the cameras have to be replaced, resulting in increase in cost. Furthermore, a thin connector like the BtoB connector 36 is used, so that even if the two flexible substrates 34, 38 are used, they are not bulky, so that the game apparatus 10 never becomes unnecessarily large (thick).
  • Additionally, as shown in Figure 2 and Figure 3, the flexible substrate 34 is connected to the LCD 12, extending to the lower housing 16b so as to be superposed on the above-described flexible substrate 38, to be connected to the circuit board 42.
  • Although in Figure 2 and Figure 3, the flexible substrate 34 and the flexible substrate 38 are illustrated linearly, but in reality, they are spirally wound once in a superposed state inside the hinge portion 16c, and extend to the lower housing 16b as shown in Figure 5. Accordingly, in a case that the game apparatus 10 is opened or closed, the radius of the flexible substrate 34, 38 at the spirally wounded part is changed. This makes it possible to prevent the flexible substrates 34, 38 from becoming crimped and from being subjected to more stress than is required, resulting in the prevention of a break in wire.
  • Returning to Figure 1, the lower housing 16b is provided with an operating switch 46. The operating switch 46 includes various switches and buttons. More specifically, the operating switch 46 includes a direction instructing switch (cross switch) 46a, a volume switch 46b, a reset switch 46c, a start switch 46d, a select switch 46e, a power button 46f, an action switch (A button) 46g, an action switch (B button) 46h, an action switch (X button) 46i, an action switch (Y button)46j, an action switch (L button) 46L, and an action switch (R button) 46R.
  • Furthermore, as well understood from Figure 1 to Figure 3, the switches 46a and 46c are arranged on the one surface of the lower housing 16b, and at the left of the LCD 14. Additionally, the switch 46b is arranged on a left side surface of the lower housing 16b, and the switch 46f is arranged on a right side surface of the lower housing 16b. In addition, the switches 46d, 46e, 46g-46j are arranged on the one surface of the lower housing 16b, and at the right of the LCD 14. Then, the switch 46L and the switch 46R are arranged at right and left corners (right and left ends) of the upper (top side) surface of the lower housing 16b so as to be superposed on the hinge portion 16c.
  • Here, as shown in Figure 2, the cross switch 46a, the reset switch 46c, the start switch 46d, the select switch 46e, the A button 46g, the B button 46h, the X button 46i and the Y button 46j are mounted on the circuit board 42.
  • The cross switch 46a functions as a digital joystick, and is utilized for instructing a moving direction of a player character (or player object) to be operated by a user or a player and instructing a traveling direction of a cursor, and so forth by operating any one of four depression portions, and so forth. Also, a specific role can be assigned to each of the four depression portions, and by operating any one of the four depression portions, it is possible to instruct (designate) the assigned role.
  • The volume switch 46b is constructed of two push buttons, and utilized for adjusting loudness of sound (voice) output from the right speaker 18 and the left speaker 20. In this embodiment, the volume switch 46b is provided with an operating portion including two push portions, and the aforementioned push buttons are provided by being brought into correspondence with the respective push portions. Thus, when the one push portion is pushed, the volume is made high, and when the other push portion is pushed, the volume is made low. For example, when the push portion is hold down, the volume is gradually made high, or the volume is gradually made low.
  • The reset switch 46c is formed of a push button, and utilized for resetting (restarting) game processing and another information processing. The start switch 46d is formed of a push button, and used for starting (restarting), and pausing the game, etc. The select switch 46e is formed of a push button, and is utilized for a game mode selection, a menu selection, etc. The power button 46f is formed of a push button, and utilized for turning on/off the main power supply of the game apparatus 10.
  • The action switch 46g, that is, the A button is formed of the push button, and is utilized for causing the player character to take an action other than that instructed by a directional instruction, specifically arbitrary actions such as hitting (punching), throwing, grasping (acquiring), riding, and jumping, etc. For example, in an action game, it is possible to apply an instruction of jumping, punching, moving arms, etc. Moreover, in a roll playing game (RPG) and a simulation RPG, it is possible to instruct to acquire an item, select and determine a weapon and a command, and so forth. The action switch 46h, that is, the B button is formed by the push button, and is utilized for changing a game mode selected by the select switch 46e, canceling an action determined by the A button 46g, and so forth.
  • The action switch 46i, that is, the X button, and the action switch 46j, that is, the Y button are formed of push buttons, and utilized for subsidiary operations when the game cannot be advanced only with the A button 46g and B button 46h. However, the X button 46i and the Y button 46j can be used for the operations the same as the A button 46g and the B button 46h. Surely, the X button 46i and the Y button 46j are not necessarily used in the game playing.
  • The action switch 46L, that is, the left push button, and the action switch 46R, that is, the right push button are formed by push buttons. The left push button (L button) 46L and the right push button (R button) 46R can be used for the operation the same as A button 46g and the B button 46h, and can also be used for subsidiary operations of the A button 46g and the B button 46h. In addition, the L button 46L and the R button 46R can change roles assigned to the direction switch 46a, the A button 46g, the B button 46h, the X button 46i and the Y button 46j to different roles.
  • Furthermore, on the top surface of the LCD 14, a touch panel 48 is provided. As the touch panel 48, any kinds of a resistance film system, an optical system (infrared rays system) and an electrostatic capacitive coupling system, for example, can be utilized. In response to an operation (touch operation) by depressing, stroking, touching, and so forth with a stick 50, a pen (stylus pen), or a finger (hereinafter, referred to as "stick 50, etc.") on a top surface of the touch panel 48, the touch panel 48 detects coordinates of an operated position by the stick 50, etc. to output coordinates data corresponding to the detected coordinates.
  • It should be noted that in this embodiment, a resolution of the display surface of the LCD 14 (the same is true for the LCD 12) is 256 dots×192 dots. A detection accuracy of the touch panel 48 is also rendered 256 dots×192 dots in correspondence to the resolution of the display surface. However, the detection accuracy of the touch panel 48 may be lower than the resolution of the display surface, or higher than it.
  • Different game screens may be displayed on the LCD 12 and the LCD 14. For example, in a racing game, a screen viewed from a driving seat is displayed on the one LCD, and a screen of entire race (course) may be displayed on the other LCD. Furthermore, in the RPG, maps, characters such as, a player character, etc. are displayed on the one LCD, and items belonging to the player object may be displayed on the other LCD. Additionally, an operation screen (game screen) of the game can be displayed on the one LCD, and another game screen including information (score, level, etc.) in relation to the game can be displayed on the other LCD. Furthermore, by utilizing the two LCD 12 and LCD 14 as one screen, it is possible to display a large monster (enemy object) to be defeated by the player object.
  • Accordingly, the player is able to designate (operate) an image, such as a player character, an enemy character, an item character, an operating object, etc. to be displayed on the screen of the LCD 14 and select (input) commands by operating the touch panel 48 with the use of the stick 50, etc. Also, it is possible to change the direction of a virtual camera (viewpoint) (direction of the line of sight) provided in the three-dimensional game space, and instruct a scrolling (gradual moving display) direction of the game screen (map).
  • Additionally, depending on the kind of the game, other input instructions can be made with the use of the touch panel 48. For example, it is possible to input by hand words, numbers, symbols, etc. on the LCD 14 with the use of the touch panel 48.
  • Thus, the game apparatus 10 has the LCD 12 and the LCD 14 as a display portion of two screens, and by providing the touch panel 48 on the top surface of any one of them (LCD 14 in this embodiment), the game apparatus 10 has the two screens (12, 14) and the operating portions (46, 48) of two kinds.
  • Furthermore, the lower housing 16b is provided with a housing hole 52, and when the stick 50 is not used, the stick 50 is housed in the housing hole 52 as shown in Figure 2 and Figure 3.
  • In addition, although illustration is omitted, inside the lower housing 16b, a microphone is provided above the reset switch 46c, and at the position corresponding to the microphone, a microphone hole 54 is formed. Furthermore, the above-described camera 40 is provided at approximately the center of the hinge portion 16c such that the imaging portion (imaging surface) is exposed. In this embodiment, the camera 40 is arranged such that its imaging surface is in parallel with the display surfaces of the LCDs 12, 14 when the game apparatus 10 is opened (each of the upper housing 16a and the lower housing 16b is opened). Accordingly, the camera 40 can image a face of the player utilizing the game apparatus 10, for example.
  • Furthermore, at the right end of the hinge portion 16c, an indicator 56 is provided. The indicator 56 is made up of a plurality of LEDs mounted on the circuit board 42 as shown in Figure 2, and shows remaining battery level and the presence or absence of a communication. As shown in Figure 1, the indicator 56 has two display portions, and the left display portion indicates the remaining battery level, and the right display portion indicates the presence or absence of a communication. The remaining battery level can be represented by a color of an emitting LED. If the remaining battery level is enough (the charge is equal to or more than 70% when a full-charged state is 100%), the green color LED lights up. That is, the display portion lights up in green. Alternatively, if the remaining battery level becomes relatively low (the charge is equal to or more than 30% and less than 70% with respect to the full-charged state), the green LED and the red LED light up. That is, the display portion light up in orange. Still alternatively, if the remaining battery level is remarkably low (the charge is less than 30% with respect to the full-charged state), the red LED lights up. Additionally, the presence or absence of the communication can be represented by flashing the LED. In a case that a communication is established, the green LED flashes, and in a case that a communication is not established, the LED lights out.
  • Returning to Figure 1, the game apparatus 10 includes a memory card (or cartridge) 58. Although illustration is omitted, the memory card 58 has a ROM storing a program of an arbitrary application like a virtual game and data like image data, and sound data to be used in this application, and a RAM for storing (saving) data (proceeding data and result data) generated by executing the application with the game apparatus 10. The memory card 58 can be attached to and detached from the game apparatus 10, and is inserted to a card slot 60 provided to the lower housing 16b as shown in Figure 3. In this embodiment, the insertion opening of the card slot 60 is provided on an upper surface (top side surface) of the lower housing 16b.
  • Although omitted in Figure 1 to Figure 3, a connector 304 (see Figure 10) is provided at a depth portion of the card slot 60 to be connected to a connector (not shown) provided at an end portion of the memory card 58 in the loading direction, and when the memory card 58 is loaded into the card slot 60, the connectors are connected with each other, so that the memory card 58 is accessible by a CPU core 300 (see Figure 10) of the game apparatus 10.
  • Moreover, as shown in Figure 3, the game apparatus 10 is provided with a card slot 62 on the left side surface of the lower housing 16b. In this embodiment, the insertion opening for the card slot 62 is provided at the left side surface of the lower housing 16b, and below the volume switch 46b. To this card slot 62, a memory card (SD card 64 in this embodiment) different from the memory card 58 can be inserted. The SD card 64 is mainly used as a backup memory of the game data. Meanwhile, the data (game data, image (photograph) data, sound data, etc.) acquired from the information processing apparatus like another game apparatus 10, etc. is stored in the SD card 64, and by attaching the SD card 64 to the game apparatus 10, the data can also be utilized in the game apparatus 10.
  • Here, in this embodiment, the SD card 64 is used, but another memory card, such as a mini SD card, a CompactFlash (registered trademark), a SmartMedia (registered trademark), a Magic Gate (registered trademark) Memory Stick, a MultiMediaCard (registered trademark), etc. may be utilized.
  • Furthermore, in the game apparatus 10, a vibrating motor 66 is provided inside the lower housing 16b. In this embodiment, the vibrating motor 66 is formed at approximately the center of the horizontal direction of the lower housing 16b, and slightly upper elevation than the center in the vertical direction. The vibrating motor 66 takes a shape of a button (cylinder), and contains an eccentric shaft not shown. Thus, when the vibrating motor 66 is driven, the vibration is transmitted through the game apparatus 10 to the player holding this.
  • The reason why the vibrating motor 66 is arranged in such a position is that in a case that the player holds the game apparatus 10 with both hands with the LCD 12 and the LCD 14 vertically arranged as shown in Figure 1, vibrations are uniformly and efficiently transmitted to both of the hands. Although illustration is omitted, because even if the player holds the game apparatus 10 with both hands with the LCD 12 and the LCD 14 horizontally arranged (a situation in which the game apparatus 12 shown in Figure 1 is rotated clockwise or counterclockwise by 90 degrees), an advantage similar to the above description is acquired.
  • Furthermore, as shown in Figure 3, on the rear surface of the lower housing 16b, a battery 68 is provided below the card slot 60. Strictly speaking, the battery 68 is housed in a battery housing box 98 provided in the base cover 90 (see Figure 6(A), (B)) formed of the lower housing 16b as described later. In addition, an externally-expanding connector 70 is provided on the upper surface of the lower housing 16b and above the vibrating motor 66. The insertion opening 96b of the externally-expanding connector 70 is approximately the center of the upper surface of the lower housing 16b and next to an insertion opening 96a of the card slot 60 (see Figure 6(B)). The externally-expanding connector 70 can be connected with an adaptor for power supply which is capable of being used when the above-described battery 68 is charged.
  • Furthermore, as shown in Figure 3, inside the lower housing 16b, a first wireless communication unit 72 is provided next to the volume switch 46b. In addition, below the first wireless communication unit 72, a second wireless communication unit 74 is provided at a position superposed with the card slot 62. In this embodiment, the first wireless communication unit 72 and the second wireless communication unit 74 are wireless modules different in format. For example, a wireless LAN (Wi-Fi) module and a Bluetooth (registered trademark) module can be utilized.
  • In such a game apparatus 10, various information is suggested by transmitting vibrations from the vibrating motor 66 to the user or the player through the game apparatus 10. A notification from the game apparatus 10 to the player is transmitted by vibrations, such as transmission of an impact when the player is attacked from an enemy character during the game, notification of one's turn in an alternate communication game.
  • However, provision of the vibrating motor 66 makes the size of the game apparatus 10 large and detracts a low profile design, and vibrations may not be fully transmitted to the case according to how to arrange the vibrating motors.
  • Thus, the game apparatus 10 of this embodiment is configured to fully transmit vibrations without detracting a low-profile design. The detailed configuration is explained below.
  • Figure 6(A) is a top view when the base cover 90 of the lower housing 16b is seen from directly above, and Figure 6(B) is a perspective view when the base cover 90 is seen from obliquely upward. As shown in Figure 6(A) and Figure 6(B), the base cover 90 is provided with a ring-shaped rib 92 for arranging the vibrating motor 66 at approximately the center. Strictly speaking, as shown in Figure 6(A), the rib 92 is approximately the center of a horizontal direction and slightly upward of a vertical direction of the base cover 90. As well understood from Figure 6(B), the rib 92 is made up of an upper member 920 and a lower member 922 different in amount of the protrusion (height).
  • Furthermore, the base cover 90 is provided with screw holes 94a and 94b for securing a motor cover 100 described later above and below the rib 92. In addition, on an upper surface (top side surface) of the base cover 90, the insertion opening 96a for inserting the above-described memory card 58 is provided. Then, the insertion opening 96b for the above-described externally-expanding connector 70 is provided next to the insertion opening 96a of the card slot 60 at approximately the center of the upper surface of the base cover 90. In addition, on a left side surface of the base cover 90, a through-hole 96c for the operating portion (not illustrated) of the volume switch 46b is provided, and an insertion opening 96d for inserting the SD card 64 is provided. Moreover, on a right side surface of the base cover 90, a through-hole 96e for the power button 46f is provided, and an insertion opening 96f for inserting the stick 50 is provided. In addition, the base cover 90 is formed with the battery housing box 98 for housing the battery 68 as a protruding on the rear side in a direction of the top surface (direction the same as a protruding direction of the rib 92) (see Figure 9(A)).
  • Figure 7(A) is a top view when a motor cover 100 is seen from directly above, and Figure 7(B) is a perspective view when the motor cover 100 is seen from obliquely upward. As shown in Figure 7(A) and Figure 7(B), the motor cover 100 is configured to connect a securing portion 102 for securing the vibrating motor 66, a stick holder portion 104 for forming a housing hole of the stick 50, and a button holder portion 106 for holding the power button 46.
  • As shown in Figure 7(A) and Figure 7(B), the securing portion 102 includes a top portion 1020 for restraining (covering) the vibrating motor 66, is provided with a rib 1022 for sandwiching the vibrating motor 66 integrated with the top portion 1020, and a connected portion 1024 to be connected with the stick holder portion 104 (see Figure 9(A) and Figure 9(B)) as described later. Furthermore, with respect to the securing portion 102, a through-hole 1022a for passing through a screw (not illustrated) by sandwiching the top portion 1020 is provided to the rib 1022, and a through-hole 1024a for passing through a screw is similarly provided to the connected portion 1024. In addition, to the connected portion 1024, a through-hole 1024b for passing through a wiring (lead wire) for the vibrating motor 66 is provided.
  • Here, Figure 8 shows an illustrative view showing a situation in which the vibrating motor 66 horizontally arranged is arranged at the position of the rib 92 of the base cover 90, and the motor cover 100 is attached to the base cover 90 with the vibrating motor 66 secured. Furthermore, Figure 9(A) is a cross-sectional view taken along the line IXA-IXA of Figure 8.
  • Referring to Figure 9(A), as described above, it is found that each of the rib 1022 and the connected portion 1024 are formed to be integrated with the top portion 1020. As understood from Figure 9(B) of a view on an enlarged scale showing a range encircled with dotted line in Figure 9(A), the vibrating motor 66 horizontally arranged is sandwiched (held) by a side surface (inner peripheral surface) 922a of the above-described lower member 922 and a side surface (inner peripheral surface) 1022b of the rib 1022. Additionally, the side surface 922a and the side surface 1022b are in contact with a side surface 66a of the vibrating motor 66.
  • Here , the base cover 90 and the motor cover 100 are formed by injection molding, for example, and respectively has draft angles for removing the base cover 90 and the motor cover 100 from mold in the lower member 922 and the rib 1022. That is, as well understood from Figure 9(B), the side surface 922a of the lower member 922 of the rib 92 and the side surface 1022b of the rib 1022 are slightly inclined with respect to the vertical (height) direction. In Figure 9(A) and Figure 9(B), in order to show the inclination of the side surface 922a of the lower member 922 and the inclination of the side surface 1022b of the rib 1022 more readily apparent, the inclination angle is made relatively larger, but in reality, the inclination angle is 0.5 degree-2 degrees with respect to the vertical direction. Furthermore, in a situation of Figure 9(A) and Figure 9(B), that is, in a situation in which the vibrating motor 66 is secured, an inclined direction of the side surface 922a of the lower member 922 and an inclined direction of the side surface 1022b of the rib 1022 are opposite directions, and the side surface 922a and the side surface 1022b are opposed to be in parallel or approximately parallel with each other. Accordingly, as described above, the side surface (inner peripheral surface) 922a of the lower member 922 and the side surface (inner peripheral surface) 1022b of the rib 1022 are in contact (intimate contact) with the side surface (outer surface) 66a of the vibrating motor 66. This makes it possible to efficiently transmit vibrations of the vibrating motor 66 (vibrations horizontally transmitted in Figure 9(A) and Figure 9(B)) to the lower housing 16b. Thus, it is possible to inform the player holding the lower housing 16b (game apparatus 10) of the aforementioned information.
  • Here, the ring-shaped rib 92 is formed in the same or approximately the same height over the full periphery, and when the vibrating motor 66 is sandwitched with the rib 92, the vibrating motor 66 is arranged as shown in Figure 9(C) by the above-described draft angle of the mold. That is, as circled by a dotted line in Figure 9(C), the side surface 66a of the vibrating motor 66 and an inner peripheral surface of the rib 92 are brought into contact at a point. In such a case, the vibrations of the vibrating motor 66 are hard to be transmitted to the lower housing 16b.
  • Thus, it is impossible to efficiently inform the player of the information as described. Accordingly, as shown in Figure 9(A) and Figure 9(B), the vibrating motor 66 is configured to be sandwiched between the rib 92 (lower member 922) of the base cover 90 and the rib 1022 provided to the securing portion 102 of the motor cover 100.
  • It should be noted that the reason why the rib 1022 and the connected portion 1024 are separately provided at the motor cover 100 is that when the entire portion of the side surface 66a of the vibrating motor 66 are covered with the rib 1022 and the connected portion 1024 similar to a case that the ring-shaped rib 92 shown in Figure 9(C) is formed, the side surface 66a of the vibrating motor 66 may not be in contact with the side surface 1022b of the rib 1022 and the side surface 922a of the lower member 922.
  • Returning to Figure 7(A) and Figure 7(B), the stick holder 104 is of semi-circle or inverted U-form in cross section and formed to be straightly extended. Accordingly, as shown in Figure 8, when the motor cover 100 is attached to the base cover 90, although illustration is omitted, the housing hole 52 is formed by the insertion opening 96f of the base cover 90, and a hole is formed by the inner surface of the base cover 90 and on the inner surface of the motor cover 100. Furthermore, the stick holder 104 has a hook 104a in the vicinity of the connected portion with the securing portion 102. The hook 104a hooks a lead wire of the vibrating motor 66, and bent to a direction in which the stick holder 104 extends (longitudinal direction). The lead wire is thus hooked by the hook 104, thus avoiding any inconvenience of the lead wire to the assembly of the game apparatus 10 and making the wiring easy.
  • Additionally, as shown in Figure 7(A) and Figure 7(B), the button holder 106 is provided with a holder 106a for securely holding a main body of the power button 46f (not illustrated). Moreover, the button holder 106 is provided with a through hole 106b for passing through a screw (not illustrated) when the motor cover 100 is secured to the base cover 90.
  • Figure 10 is a block diagram of an electric configuration of the game apparatus 10 as described above. Referring to Figure 10, the game apparatus 10 includes the above-described circuit board 42, and on the circuit board 42 is mounted with circuit components like a CPU core 300, etc. For the sake of drawing, in Figure 10, parts of components, such as the battery 68, the externally-expanding connector 70, the power supply circuit are omitted.
  • As shown in Figure 10, the CPU core 300 is connected to connectors 304, 306 via a bus 302, and connected to a RAM 308, an input-output interface circuit (hereinafter referred to as "I/F circuit") 310, a motor driver 312, a first wireless communication unit 72, a second wireless communication unit 74, an LED driver 314, a first graphics processing unit (GPU) 316, a second GPU 318 and an LCD controller 320.
  • The connector 304 is detachably connected with the memory card 58 as described above. Furthermore, the connector 306 is detachably connected with the SD card 64 as described above. Accordingly, the CPU core 300 can access a ROM and a RAM not shown within the memory card 58, and can access a flash memory not shown within the SD card 64.
  • The RAM308 is a main memory to be used as a working area and a buffer area of the CPU core 300. The I/F circuit 310 is connected with the operating switch 46, the touch panel 48, the cameras 30, 40 and the speakers 18, 20. Here, the operating switch 46 is the above-described switches 46a, 46b, 46c, 46d, 46e, 46f, 46g, 46h, 46i, 46j, 46L and 46R. When the operating switch 46 is operated, a corresponding operation signal (operation data) is input to the CPU core 300 via the I/F circuit 310.
  • Furthermore, coordinate data from the touch panel 48 is input to the CPU core 300 via the I/F circuit 310. In addition, imaged image data from the cameras 30, 40 are input to the CPU core 300 via the I/F circuit 310. Although illustration is omitted, the CPU core 300 separately controls the imaging by the cameras 30, 40 according to an instruction from the player. Furthermore, although illustration is omitted, the CPU core 300 applies a control signal (control voltage) as to lighting, extinction and flashing of the LED 32 placed in the vicinity of the camera 30 via the I/F circuit 310. Moreover, the CPU core 300 reads sound data required for the game, such as a game music (BGM), a sound effect or a voice (onomatopoeic sound) of a game character, etc. from the RAM 308, and outputs the same through the speakers 18, 20 via the I/F circuit 310.
  • The motor driver 312 controls the driving of the vibrating motor 66 under the control of the CPU core 300. For example, the motor driver 312c converts the control signal (drive pulse) applied from the CPU core 300 to a drive power, and applies the converted drive power to the vibrating motor 66. Thus, the vibrating motor 66 is driven.
  • The first wireless communication unit 72 is a wireless LAN module like Wi-Fi, and connected to the above-described antenna 26. Furthermore, the second wireless communication unit 74 is a module as to a short distance wireless communication, like Bluetooth (registered trademark), and connected to the above-described antenna 28.
  • The LED driver 314 is connected to the above-described indicator 56. The LED driver 314 separately controls lighting, extinction, and flashing of the respective LEDs included in the indicator 56 in response to an instruction from the CPU core 300.
  • Each of the GPU 316 and GPU 318 forms a part of a drawing means, is constructed by, for example, a single chip ASIC, and receives a graphics command (drawing instruction) from the CPU core 300 to generate image data according to the graphics command. Here, the CPU core 300 applies an image generation program (included in the game program, for example) required to generate the image data to both of the GPU 316 and the GPU 318 in addition to the graphics command.
  • Furthermore, the GPU 316 is connected with a first video RAM (hereinafter referred to as "VRAM") 322, and the GPU 318 is connected with a second VRAM 324. The GPU 316 and the GPU 318 respectively access the first VRAM 322 and the second VRAM 324 to obtain data (image data: polygon data, texture data, etc.) required to execute a graphics command.
  • It should be noted that the CPU core 300 writes image data necessary for drawing to the first VRAM 322 and the second the VRAM 324 via the GPU 316 and the GPU 318. The GPU 316 accesses the first VRAM 322 to produce image data necessary for drawing and the GPU 318 accesses the second VRAM 324 to produce image data for drawing.
  • The VRAM 322 and the VRAM 324 are connected to the LCD controller 320. The LCD controller 320 includes a register 326, and the register 326 consists of, for example, one bit, and stores a value of "0" or "1" (data value) according to an instruction of the CPU core 300. The LCD controller 320 outputs the image data produced by the GPU 316 to the LCD 12, and outputs the image data produced by the GPU 318 to the LCD 14 in a case that the data value of the register 326 is "0". Furthermore, the LCD controller 320 outputs the image data produced by the GPU 316 to the LCD 14, and outputs the image data produced by the GPU 318 to the LCD 12 in a case that the data value of the register 326 is "1".
  • It should be noted that the LCD controller 320 directly reads image data from the VRAM 322 and the VRAM 324, and reads image data from the VRAM 322 and the VRAM 324 via the GPU 316 and the GPU 318.
  • According to this embodiment, the vibrating motor is sandwiched between the side surface of the lower member of the rib provided to the base cover and the side surface of the rib of the securing portion of the motor cover which is opposed to be in parallel with each other, so that the side surface of the vibrating motor is brought into contact with the side surfaces of the respective ribs. Thus, it is possible to efficiently transmit vibrations of the vibrating motor to the housing.
  • It should be noted that in this embodiment, as a hand-held type information processing apparatus, an explanation is made on the hand-held type game apparatus, but there is no need of being restricted thereto. This can be applied to various hand-held information processing apparatuses, such as a game controller, a PDA, a hand-held sound recording and reproducing apparatus, an electronic data book, a cellular phone, etc.
  • Additionally, the configuration of the game apparatus should not be restricted to that of the above-described embodiment. For example, the LCD is enough for one, or the touch panel may be provided to both of the two LCDs.

Claims (4)

  1. A hand-held information processing apparatus, comprising:
    a housing (16b);
    a cover (100); and
    a coin-shaped vibrating motor (66),
    the hand-held information processing apparatus being characterized by
    the housing (16b) being provided with a first rib (922) having a side surface inclined with respect to the perpendicular to the housing (16b); and
    the cover (100) being provided with a second rib having a side surface (1022b) which is opposed to and parallel with said side surface (922a) of said first rib (922) for restraining the coin-shaped vibrating motor (66), wherein
    said cover (100) is attached to said housing (16b) such that a side surface (66a) of the coin-shaped motor (66) is held between said side surface (922a) of said first rib (922) and said side surface (1022a) of said second rib (1022).
  2. A hand-held information processing apparatus according to claim 1, wherein
    said cover (100) comprises a hook (104a) to be used for wiring of the coin-shaped vibrating motor (66).
  3. A hand-held information processing apparatus according to claim 1 or 2, wherein
    said housing (16b) and said cover (100) form a housing hole (52) to house a pen (50) for a touch panel.
  4. A hand-held information processing apparatus according any one of claims 1 to 3, wherein
    said housing (16b) further includes a through-hole (96e) to pass through a pushed portion of a switch (46f), and
    said cover (100) further includes a holding portion (106a) to hold the switch (46f).
EP09171032.7A 2008-10-03 2009-09-22 Hand-held information processing apparatus Active EP2172252B1 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
JP2008258055A JP5358152B2 (en) 2008-10-03 2008-10-03 Handheld information processing device

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EP2172252A2 EP2172252A2 (en) 2010-04-07
EP2172252A3 EP2172252A3 (en) 2010-12-22
EP2172252B1 true EP2172252B1 (en) 2018-06-20

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JP (1) JP5358152B2 (en)

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JP2010082396A (en) 2010-04-15
JP5358152B2 (en) 2013-12-04
US20100085693A1 (en) 2010-04-08
EP2172252A2 (en) 2010-04-07
US8081428B2 (en) 2011-12-20
EP2172252A3 (en) 2010-12-22

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